Rack volumes persisting through songs?

I just wondered if it were possible. I’m not trying to create work :slight_smile:

Hi Carl,

The way to do what you describe requires that you save the volume change inside the opened rack (or unopened in the case of a midi binding) and then either auto or manual saving the rack. Then the changes to the rack will be reflected throughout the song list. You could try to make this easier by creating a midi binding from your keyboard to the OutputPort volume slider that is inside the rack on your bass plugin. Then if you are set for autosaving using set list (in options tabs) the rack it will save changes on the next song state change. Hope this helps. If you need some snapshots to help let me know. :grinning:



Thanks for this Dave. I think I get it and will have a play with it. I thought I had already tried changing the volume and autosaving the rack but it seemed to go back to it’s original value on the next song and I thought it might be a song state thing that was overriding the rack volume?.

Still, I may well have been doing it wrong so I’ll have another go.

Thanks again Dave,


It works as you described!

Thanks, Dave.

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This feature is going to be really useful. On my setup I have 4 stereo output channels that I send to front-of-house at gigs, with each sound I used categorised to the different channels for pianos, leads, Mellotrons (I use lots of that) and miscellaneous (organs, pads etc). One thing I’ve found is if I set up my levels to get a good balance at home when practicing, then leads generally need to come up and pianos need to come down when I play at volume through a PA in rehearsal/live. This actually makes it quite difficult to set up good levels at home - I need to mentally compensate. So having a way to trim the levels right at the output stage for different situations would be excellent.

Having typed that in, I’m now thinking maybe this is something I can do in the global rack? A special sub-rack that allows me to switch volume settings between home and live mode…


Actually, there is a way to do this using a “normal” rack:

In all my songs, I have a rack called MasterRack, which contains master EQs and master volume controls for my keyboards and guitar sounds. This rack has two audio input ports, called (surprise!) “Guitar In” and “Keys In”. All my racks used in songs route their output to either one of these ports. Within MasterRack, input gets processed by the respective EQ, then through the volume plugin (Sonalksis FreeG), and then routed through the master compressor and to main output (I’m currently using one stereo output for all my stuff, but this could easily also be split to multiple outputs for Neil’s purposes).

The secret sauce is now this:
Both the Volume as well as the EQ plugins have all their state behavior boxes unchecked, so they don’t get influenced by anything that goes on around them. I remote control them using MIDI bindings with sliders on my master keyboard.

When switching songs, everything inside the master rack stays as it is, since it is preloaded and no song or state changes affect the volume or EQ plugins.

Now, I’ve saved this rack with the volumes at 0 db and the EQs at neutral. When during sound check I find that I need to EQ my guitar or keys a bit, I just do this within the MasterRack, but DON’T SAVE THE RACK (otherwise these changes will stay imprinted on the MasterRack forever).

Also, I make sure NOT to save the MasterRack when closing down Cantabile at the end of the gig, otherwise my volume changes (via sliders on my master keyboard) will be written to the MasterRack - I like to keep it in neutral to begin with to avoid nasty surprises.

I’ve used this approach over the past 2 gigs with Cantabile, and it has worked perfectly - feels like a good old hardware volume fader for guitar and keys, independent of the currently active preset.

For Neil’s problem (a “studio” and a “live” preset), I’m not sure how to do this with my MasterRack approach: if you created different rack states (different volume levels) for studio and live setup, they would show up at song level, so on song change, the rack state saved with the rack would be recalled - defeats the purpose.

But maybe a nested approach could work? Create a Master Rack and then another MasterSubrack as an embedded rack within it. Then you can leave your MasterRack in the same state in all your songs and simply recall a different state of your MasterSubrack at the beginning of the gig. Since the state for your MasterRack doesn’t change between songs, Cantabile will not reload the state, so the change you have made within MasterRack (i.e. selecting a different preset for your subrack) will stay in place across all songs.

Haven’t tried it - sounds tricky, but should work :wink:




That’s fantastically useful Torsten, thank-you! Unticking the boxes so the master rack doesn’t change is what you’d expect, but the bit that really got me excited was how you then control those levels remotely from sliders on your master keyboard. That’s awesomely powerful - being able to remotely control the final mixed/routed outputs, after song-specific volume levels have been applied for relative levelling. I’m definitely going to try this!! Also, as you mention in your setup, it’s a great place to put a compressor or other such universal “final step” processing.

Thanks Torsten!


Like Neil said, excellent post Torsten, very useful and well thought out. Thank You!

Brilliant post! Thank you so much!

Would a state behaviour on the rack slot that says to never adjust the state of this rack be useful for this?


Great idea! You could create something similar to a “Scene Protect” setting on digital mixers, protecting individual controls from being overwritten on scene. Call it “Song Switch Protect” - should behave in a similar way: if Song Switch Protect is on for a rack, it doesn’t react to any state changes (or changes to exported settings inside the rack) stored in the song.

Essentially, this way you create a rack that is persistent across all songs in a set.

So Neil could select the right rack state (“Live” or “Studio”) on loading his set list and then levels within the MasterRack would automatically start at the pre-set levels. With the right MIDI bindings, he could then fine-adjust levels over the course of the gig / rehearsal.

Sounds like a plan!



PLUS: Have a great Christmas, everyone!!! :smile:
:gift::christmas_tree: :gift::christmas_tree: :gift::christmas_tree: :gift::christmas_tree: :gift:


This gets my vote, Brad!

Oh yes, this would be excellent - Torsten’s suggestion will do the trick, but having a “scene protect” / rack lock type of functionality would make it safer to use. I imagine there are various other uses for that kind of feature too!

+1 for rack lock,

regards, humphrey

Torsten, if the only plugin I would be using is FreeG to control master volume for my songs, I wouldn’t need to create a rack for it, would I?

depends - if you want volume to persist through songs, you would still need to stuff it in a rack. Otherwise it would be re-loaded with the song, and your volume would be reset to the saved state.



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I think I see what you’re saying.

I’m really interested in implementing this idea. I have a hard time managing and standardizing volume levels in live performances. As I understand it implementing your idea would allow easy over all volume control of each song, after volumes for each song’s racks and plug-in components is set. And FreeG’s db meterwould make it easy to determine the db level of the overall song as well as song parts, correct? that would help me more precisely standardize the preset volume for a rack (e.g., horn rack) as I move from one song to the next.

Yes, I implement a rack I call “Processing Rack” as the output stage of every other rack, rather than using “Stereo Speakers” for instance. It has a compressor, EQ and its inherent volume control in it, and outputs to the “Stereo Speakers” at its output end.



and this strategy will also control plug-ins, not just racks within songs?

Yes - I send ALL outputs to the processing rack. Anywhere single-source management of some parameters is useful I create a rack for that.


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